DTE Energy Issues RFP for Solar and Wind Projects, Opens Dairy Renewable Natural Gas Processing Facility

Detroit-based DTE Energy is issuing requests for proposals for additional solar and wind projects in Michigan in an ongoing effort to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2040. From 2021-2023, DTE has proposed adding up to 775 megawatts of renewable energy assets to its portfolio.
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solar panels at Lapeer Solar Park
DTE Energy is issuing requests for proposals for additional solar and wind projects in Michigan. Pictured are solar panels at Lapeer Solar Park. // Photo courtesy of DTE Energy

Detroit-based DTE Energy is issuing requests for proposals for additional solar and wind projects in Michigan in an ongoing effort to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2040. From 2021-2023, DTE has proposed adding up to 775 megawatts of renewable energy assets to its portfolio.

The utility is seeking solar projects ranging from 25 to 200 megawatts and wind projects ranging from 100 to 200 megawatts. It will consider projects reaching commercial operation between 2021 and 2023.

Interested bidders must register their company information on the PowerAdvocate website and then enter Event #96722 to view the solar request for proposal and Event #96689 for the wind request for proposal. DTE will invite registered bidders to participate by granting access to the full request for proposal via PowerAdvocate.

DTE is Michigan’s largest producer of renewable energy, with 1,200 MW from the 14 wind farms and 31 solar parks in its portfolio. Since 2009, DTE has driven investment of $2.8 billion in renewable energy. Over the next five years, it plans to invest an additional $2 billion in renewable energy assets and more than double its renewable energy, generating enough clean energy to power more than 800,000 homes.

In related news, DTE Biomass Energy, a nonregulated subsidiary of DTE Energy, has opened its first combined dairy renewable natural gas processing and interstate injection facility in Newton, Wis. (north of Sheboygan). The company has more than three decades of experience in landfill waste-to-energy projects, and the facility is working with local dairy farmers.

The site processes raw biogas piped from nearby partner farms into renewable natural gas. It also receives the gas when it is trucked in from other dairy farms based DTE facilities. From the facility, the pipeline-quality gas is injected directly into the interstate pipeline.

“This injection and RNG processing facility is an important milestone for us,” says Kevin Dobson, vice president of business development for DTE Biomass Energy. “DTE’s dairy RNG production has grown tremendously over the last several months, and now we have a central location and efficient means for continuing the operation and growth of these and other dairy projects.”

DTE began dairy renewable natural gas processing operations in Wisconsin in the spring of 2019 at Dairy Dreams LLC. It has also partnered with Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy LLC, Maple Leaf Dairy Inc., and Grotegut Dairy Farm Inc. It will process biogas produced at these farms into renewable natural gas at three DTE-owned and operated renewable natural gas facilities.

Converting waste manure to the gas prevents it from releasing methane directly into the atmosphere when it is left to decompose naturally on farmland. Capturing the gas instead reduces the farms’ greenhouse gas footprint, provides the farms with another revenue stream, and helps create a clean, sustainable vehicle fuel that displaces fossil-based gasoline or diesel fuel.

“Nearly 20,000 cows throughout Wisconsin are contributing to these projects,” says Dobson. “Their waste was once a farmer’s burden, but now it’s a sustainable and clean source of energy.”

DTE is constructing four more renewable natural gas facilities in Wisconsin, partnering with Statz Bros. Inc., Kinnard Farms, and Milk Source. The projects are expected to begin processing the gas in early 2020. DTE Biomass with have seven DTE-owned and operated renewable natural gas facilities when the projects are complete.

DTE Biomass Energy was founded in 1988 and is part of DTE Power and Industrial, one of DTE Energy’s non-utility business units.

DTE Energy is involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan.

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